Aman Resorts offer a guest experience that is intimate and discreet while providing the highest level of service. Each resort and setting is unique, but certain elements characterise all of them — a beautiful natural location, outstanding facilities, exceptional service and a small number of rooms to ensure exclusivity and privacy.
In 2012 we were appointed to create a landscape masterplan for this newest Aman Resort in Shanghai; an 18 hectare riverside site comprising an Aman Club with 40 private guest rooms, 18 contemporary villas, and 18 antique Ming and Qing dynasty villas for use as private residences. The antique villas were rescued and relocated from a valley that was flooded to create a reservoir. After a 700km journey they were painstakingly restored and reassembled. 1150 sacred camphor trees were also rescued from the site, and they have been used to create green streetscapes and gardens with an immediate feeling of maturity.
The design concept imagines that the forest has always been here and that the village has evolved around it. Green streets shaded by the ancient camphor trees are designed to slow traffic and to create the feeling of a garden rather than a road. Several changes in planting character punctuate the main green streets to add animation, rhythm and place-making.
We have created planting schemes for two very different types of courtyard garden for both the antique and contemporary private villas, interpreting the Chinese garden aesthetic through western eyes, and making use of the full range of available Chinese garden plants.
For the Aman Club we have designed planting schemes for the Club setting, and internal courtyard gardens for the private suites, function rooms, restaurants, bars and spa. Outside the Club grounds slope down to the water’s edge where guests can wander along the bank, enjoying the camphor woodland where it meets the river.
For both sites we worked closely with potters in the famed porcelain production town of Jingdezhen, designing a range of pots and water bowls based on historic Chinese forms, to animate the courtyards.
The Forest Park Peninsula is a 20 hectare ecological public park created on farmland neighbouring Amanyangyun. The park has been designed to offer a wide range of habitats from wetlands to water terraces, from woodland to camphor forest, which also utilises many of the reclaimed camphor trees. The park is designed to be a sustainable, dynamic landscape based around a water management system uncommon in China. Water is taken from existing waterways, and is purified in a series of wetland reedbeds and water terraces, before being discharged into a new lake which feeds the canalised waterways and water bodies within the resort.
The park is intended to be a haven providing a variety of natural habitats to support as wide a range of wildlife as possible. A new cultural centre at the heart of the park gives focus to this educational environment for study and observation.
The resort opened officially in Spring 2018.
Photos: Aman Resorts
2012 - present
Client: Aman Resorts & Shanghai Guyin Real Estate Co. Ltd. Size: 18 hectares